Funeral Readings - Killeigh Parish

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Funeral Readings



Choose one reading
(1)   A reading from the Book of Wisdom 3:1-6. 9
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.  
In the eyes of the unwise they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like utter destruction,
but they are in peace.  
If they experienced punishment as we see it,
their hope was rich with the promise of eternal life;
Slight was their affliction,
great will their blessings be.  
God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him;
God has tested them like gold in a furnace,
and accepted them as a holocaust.  
They who trust in God, will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with God in love; for grace and mercy await those whom God has chosen.
The word of the Lord.
(2)   Gone

(3)   A reading from the book of Wisdom (4:7-15)
The virtuous person, though he/she die before his/her time, will find rest.  Length of  days is not what makes age honourable, nor numbers of years the true meaning of life; understanding, this is grey hairs, untarnished life, this is ripe old age.  He/She has sought to please God; so God has loved him/her, as he/she was living among sinners, he/she has been taken up.  He/She has been carried off so that evil may not warp him/her understanding, or treachery seduce his/her soul; for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade, and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.  Coming to  perfection in so short a while he/she achieved long life; his/her soul being pleasing to the Lord, he has taken him/her quickly from the wickedness around him/her.  Yet people look on uncomprehending; it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord, and protection, his holy ones.
The word of the Lord.

(4)   A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes (3: 2-8)
There is a season for everything,
A time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth, a time for dying;
a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for killing, a time for healing;
A time for knocking down, a time for building.
A time for tears, a time for laughter;
A time for mourning, a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them up;
A time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching, a time for losing;
A time for keeping, a time for throwing away.
A time for tearing, a time for sewing;
A time for keeping silent, a time for speaking.
A time for loving, a time for hating;
A time for war, a time for peace.
What does a person gain for the efforts they make?
I contemplate the task that God gives us to labour at.
All that a person does is apt for its time;
but though God has permitted us to consider time in its wholeness,
a person cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.
The word of the Lord.

(5)   A reading from the prophet Isaiah (41:10, 44:22, 49:15-16.
Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice.  For I am the Lord, your God, who grasps your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I will help you."  I have brushed away your offences like a cloud, your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child within her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you.  See, upon the palm of my hand I have written your name.  Yes, in joy you shall depart, in peace you shall be brought back.
The word of the Lord.

(6)   A reading from the prophet Isaiah (25:6-9)
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food.  On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever.  The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek; he will take away his people's shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.  That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation;  the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.  We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.
The word of the Lord.

(7)   A reading from the Book of Deuteronomy (31:1-3, 6-8)
Moses proceeded to address these words to the whole of Israel, 'I am one hundred and twenty years old now, and can no longer come and go as I will.  Yahweh has said to me, ' Be strong, stand firm, have no fear on them, no terror, for Yahweh your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you.'
Then Moses summoned Joshua and in the presence of all Israel said to him, 'Be strong, stand firm, you are going with this people into the land Yahweh swore to their fathers he would give them; you are to give it into their possession.  Yahweh himself will lead you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or desert you.  Have no fear, do not be disheartened by anything'.                          The word of the Lord.

(8)   A reading from the first book of Kings 2:1-4,
As David's life drew to its close he laid this charge on his son Solomon, 'I am going the way of all the earth.  Be strong and show yourself a man.  Observe the injunctions of the Lord your God, following his ways and keeping his laws, his commandments, his customs and his decrees, as it stands written in the Law of Moses, that so you may be successful in all you do and undertake, so that Yahweh may fulfil the promise he made me.                                     The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM - chose one/or one may be sung
(9)   Response: The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,
Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirits. (R)
He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort. (R)
You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
My cup is overflowing. (R)
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.
In Lord's own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.  (R)

(10)   Response: The Lord is my light and my help.
The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?  (R)
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple.  (R)
O Lord, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer.  It is your face, O Lord that I seek; hide not your face.  (R)
I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living.  Hope in him, hold from and take heart.  Hope in the Lord. (R)

chose one


(11)   A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (8:31-35,39)
With God on our side, who can be against us?  Since God did not spare his only Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give.  Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen?  When God acquits can anyone condemn.  Could Jesus Christ? No!  He not only died for us - he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us.  Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of God, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothing, or being threatened or even attacked.  These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loves us.  For I am certain of this; neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, nor any power, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The word of the Lord.

(12)   A reading from the first letter of St. John (1 Jn. 3:1-3)
Think of the love that the Father has shown us by letting us be called God's children; and that is what we are.  Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.  My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed, we shall be like him because we shall see his as he really is.      The word of the Lord.

(13)   A reading from the 1st letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (4:13-15,18)
We want you to be quite certain about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope.  We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him.  With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.
The word of the Lord.

(14)   A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (13:4-14)
Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud;                                 
love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable;
love does not keep a record of wrongs;
love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience, never fail.
Love is eternal.
There are inspired messages, but they are temporary;
there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues but they will cease;
there is knowledge, but it will pass.
For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial;
but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.
What we see now is like a dim mirror; we shall see face to face.
What I know now is only partial;
then it will be complete - as complete as God's knowledge of me.
Meanwhile these three remain, faith, love;
and the greatest of these is love.   
                          The word of the Lord.

(15)   A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans: 14:7-12.
The life and death of each of us has its influence on others: if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord.  This explains why Christ both died and came to life, it was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  We shall all have to stand before the judgement seat of God; as scripture says: By my life - it is the Lord who speaks - every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall praise God.  It is to God, therefore, that each of us must give an account of himself.
The word of the Lord.

(16)   A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (4:4-9)
May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord.  Rejoice! Show a gentle attitude towards everyone.  The Lord is coming soon.  Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers, ask God for what you need, always asking him with a  thankful heart.  And God's peace, which is for beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.  In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honourable.  Put into practice what you learnt and received from me, both from my words and from my actions.  And the God who gives us peace will be with you.
The word of the Lord.

(17)   A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 5:1.6-10
We know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.
We are always full of confidence, then, when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight - we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our new home with the Lord.  Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on  pleasing him.  For the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what we deserve for the things we did in the body, -  ——good or bad.
The word of the Lord.

(18)   A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (5:9-11)
God destined us not for his condemnation, but to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that, alive or dead, we should live united to him.  So give encouragement to each other, and keep strengthening one another, as you do already.
The word of the Lord.

(19)  A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1:4-9)
I always thank God for you because of his grace given to you in Christ Jesus.  
For in him you have been enriched in every way -
in all your speaking and in all your knowledge,
because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
Therefore do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ ...
God,  who has called you into fellowship with his son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
The word of the Lord.

(19A)        A Reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy (4:6—8)
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day,and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
The Word of the Lord.

Your priest will choose one

Choose five or six of the following.  If you wish, compose some of your own, or adapt some of those suggested.
(20)         Let us pray for the whole Church, that we maybe prepared for the hour of our    death, when God will call us by name, to pass from this world to the next.
               Lord hear us.
(21)         God is full of mercy and compassion.  May He forgive N..... any sins he/she         committed through human frailty.  Lord hear us.
(22)         We pray for N:____ , and all those who also have died in Christ.  May Christ now              be their light, their joy, their consolation in the glory and peace of Heaven.
                                                                                                                                                               Lord hear us.        
(23)         For the sorrowing family, relatives and friends of N...... that they may find            strength and consolation in their faith and in the love and support of the           community.   Lord hear us.
(24)         God of all consolation, help us to comfort one another in our grief, finding light in              time of darkness, and faith in time of doubt.   Lord hear us.
(25)         We pray for all who are dying, and for all who care for them.  Give them peace in              their hearts and hope to see you in glory forever.     Lord hear us.
(26)         For our departed relatives and friends and all who were close to us in this life.      Lord, give them the reward of their goodness.   Lord hear us.
(27)         Let us pray for all those who care for the sick and dying, especially those who     cared for N..... during his/her illness.   Lord hear us.
(28)         We pray for all who have died and who are forgotten by all in the midst of time.                 May they enjoy the love that Christ has for them, and know their dignity in               Heaven. Lord hear us.
(29)         May the prayers of Mary, the Mother of God, who stood by the cross as her son                 was dying, help those who mourn and be with all of us in our time of need.   
               Lord hear us.
(30)         For all who have gathered here to worship in faith that we may be reunited one   day with all whom we love, when every tear will be wiped away.  
               Lord hear us.
REFLECTIONS   - choose one

              - I have only slipped away into the next room.  Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.  Call me by my old familiar name.  Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without effort.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity.  Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?  I am but waiting for you, for the interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.  All is well.  Nothing is past; nothing is lost.  One brief moment and all will be as it was before - only better, infinitely happier and for ever - we will all be one together with Christ.                                               Henry Scott Holland
(32)   Miss me but Let me go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – but not too long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me -but let me go
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the Master’s plan
A step on the road to home
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me, - but let me go.

May the Lord support us all the day long
Till the shades lengthen
and the evening comes,
And the busy world is hushed,
And the fever of life is over
And our work is done.
Then in his mercy, may he give us a safe lodging, a holy rest,
And peace at the last.  Amen
Cardinal Newman

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamt that he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed the scenes of his life.
For each scene he noticed not one, but two sets of footprints in the sand.
He understood immediately that one belonged to him, and the other to the Lord.
But then he noticed a curious thing.
At the lowest and saddest times in his life there was only one set of footprints.
This bothered him, and so he asked the Lord:
"How come that during the most difficult times in my life, the very times when I most needed you, you left me on my own?"
The Lord replied,
"My friend, during your trials and sufferings, when you see only one set of footprints, those footprints are mine.  It was then that I carried your".
All through life's day our risen Lord walks with us.
Often, however, he is a stranger to us, for he never forces himself upon us.
Before the day's end, we will ask many questions, experience many failures, disappointments and heartaches.
And then, suddenly, whether we are young, middle aged or old, we will find that the shadows are lengthening and night is fast approaching.
In that moment we pray that, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, our eyes will be opened, and that we will recognise him - the stranger who walked at our side - as our risen Lord.
And he will not vanish from our sight.  Instead he will guide us through the dark valley of death to the safety of the Father's house.
I am standing on the seashore.  Suddenly a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze,
and starts out for the blue ocean.  
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch her until at length she is only a ribbon of white cloud, just above where sea and sky mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says:
"There! She's gone!"                            Gone where!                         Gone from my sight - that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull as she was when she left my side,
and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her,
and just at the moment when someone at my side says:
"There!  She's gone!"           there are other voices ready to greet her with a glad shout:
"There!  She comes!"
And that is dying.

(37)   I'M FREE
Don't  grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day.
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found that peace at close of day.
If my parting has left a void.
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full.  I've savoured much.
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief.
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me.
God wanted me now; He set me free.

(38)  My Journey:
Don’t think of me as gone away
My journey has just begun
Life holds so many facets
This earth is only one.
Just think of me as resting
From the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days or years.
Think how I am wishing
That you could know today
How nothing but your sadness
Can really pass away.
And think of me as living
In the hearts of those I have touched,
For nothing loved, -- is ever lost,
And I was loved,  --  so much.


My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot chose the colours
he worketh steadily.
Oftentimes he weaveth sorrow
and I, in foolish pride,
forget that he seeth the upper,
and I the under side.
Not till the loom is silent
and the shuttles cease to fly,
shall God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
in the weaver's skilful hand
as the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern he has planned.
(40)  Christ is the Bridge:
Christ is the Bridge that reaches past yesterday, today and tomorrow,
to join the things of heaven with those of earth.
From our life on earth we cross o’er the Bridge of death
into new life with God.
Amid the pain and struggle that is the journey of life;
we go forth in faith and belief, finding the hand of God.
God is the Bridge, the way to God’s own heart.
For when dreams are broken and joy has fled, there is Jesus.
For when hope is a struggle and faith is a fragile thread, there is Jesus.  
For when grief is a shadow and peace unknown, there is Jesus.
When we need the assurance that we are not alone, there is Jesus.

Prayer on the Death of a Loved One:
My heart is numb, the one I loved has died
and I have cried and cried.
There is an empty space in my heart that I long to fill.
As You wept for Lazarus Your friend
Your human heart was breaking
So now I take your place.
Lift the veil that I might see beyond my grief
where love is pure and light will reach beneath these empty walls.
May no harm come to them who have taken leave.
Pilgrims of paradise, may their journey be gentle,
and blessed memory lighten their way.
May they see the glimmer of Heaven’s light
calling them deeper and deeper into eternal beauty.
May they recognise the kindly faces of loved ones,
old friends and neighbours who have gathered to greet them
and take them to the land of eternal summer.
May they see you Lord, as you are in radiant beauty,
with a gaze from beautiful eyes that never leaves them.  
May they know the sweet embrace of your soft tanned hands.
Lord in my empty moments, may blessed memory be the bridge
from my heart to Heaven.
So rest in peace O gentle soul
until that day when love will call us home

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